Residents and traders elated as Gathoge market is operationalized
Residents of Gathoge town are elated with the operationalization of a new market built by the County Government of Kirinyaga. Gathoge market which is the latest among 20 aggregation centers built by Governor Anne Waiguru became operational on Thursday after more than 300 traders were allocated spaces to display their goods. Farmers in the region will now have a central place to aggregate and sell their produce be it avocados, tomatoes and cabbages.
Governor Waiguru says that the market will accommodate traders who have been selling by the roadside. Gathoge market has modern social amenities such as toilets, car parks, adequate water supply, proper storm water drainage as well as adequate lighting system that will lead to extension of transaction hours. The center is also well fenced therefore traders can rest easy knowing that their goods are secure overnight. The governor says the new markets are meant to help farmers address post-harvest loses and add value to their produce. “We are in the process of constructing four additional aggregation centers for our farmers in Kibirigwi, Riakiania, Kimbimbi and Togonye, the later two being for tomato farmers. We are committed to implementing high impact projects that will in the long run touch every household in the county”, said the second time governor who is also the Chairperson of the Council of Governors.
County Executive Committee Member (CECM) cooperative development, trade, marketing, tourism, industrialization and enterprise development Calbert Njeru said allocation of the selling spaces was conducted through balloting to enhance transparency and ensure traders are satisfied. Njeru said the market will provide farmers with a central place bring all their produce for sale, thus allowing traders and buyers to have a common meeting point. “Secondly, having multiple traders converge and set up businesses in one place will also make revenue collection easier as collection of taxes will be done at a central point,” he added. The CECM asked the traders who were lucky to get stalls to build small structures that would hold their goods in place for sale. “We have commenced operations at this new market, we are doing a test run so that the county government can see how to improve the project and other projects over time,” he added. He said that the county government will continue supporting farmers to upscale farming as well as provision of favourable marketing environment.
On their part, traders noted that they faced many challenges selling their wares which included being rained on and dirty environment, lack of toilets and clean water which are essentials for a conducive environment for business. “We are happy that final this promise by our Governor Anne Waiguru to build us a market has been fulfilled, as traders we cannot complain,” said Eunice Wambui, one of the traders at the market. Njukiini Member of the County Assembly (MCA) Timothy Kariuki said the market offers a big relief to traders who has not central place to sell their good. He apart from offering farmers a place to aggregate their produce, the market will also boost revenue collection for the county as it will bring in traders from far and wide.
Besides the Gathoge market, other markets constructed by governor Waiguru’s administration includes; Makutano fresh produce market, Wang’uru, Kagio Cereals market, Kagio Clothes market, Kutus, Makutano exclusive tomato market, Kagumo, Kianyaga, Kiamutugu, Kerugoya, Sagana, Kibingoti, Karumandi, Githure and Kerugoya Hospital Fruits Market Sheds.